The number of holidaymakers visiting the Republic of Ireland plummeted in the first three months of the year, it emerged.
Official figures showed 354,400 fewer visitors arrived between January and March compared to last year.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) also revealed trips during March fell by almost 100,000.
Olivia Mitchell, Fine Gael tourism spokeswoman, appealed |for government intervention to support the industry. “The direction in Irish tourism continues to be down, down, down as these figures show that Ireland is losing 3,500 visitors a day, every day,” she said.
In the year up to March, the CSO said there was a drop of 317,400 visits — with numbers from the UK down 27%, from Europe down 25% and the US down 3.4%.